At least two witness have reported seeing an unidentified flying over South West London earlier today.
Video footage recorded at around 4.27pm this afternoon appears to show a grey-coloured object flying directly upwards over Tooting.
A long contrail appears behind the object in an area of sky that is often busy with planes approaching Heathrow airport.
People on the ground could have seen an optical illusion created by an overflying plane, but one witness claims the object was flying ‘directly upwards’.
Ash Ellis of ufoidentified.co.uk believes that the curvature of the Earth has created such an optical illusion to give the impression that the plane is flying upwards.
He said: ‘I believe it to be a plane as this optical effect usually happens when the plane is flying directly toward you but due to the curvature of the Earth it gives the impression that it is rising vertically when it actually remains at the same height from the ground.
‘There’s a similar effect when the plane is flying away from you that makes it appear to be “falling” from the sky, and it’s been reported in the media quite a lot of “Falling fireballs”.’
The bizarre sighting was made by 26-year-old freelance graphic designer Gabriella, who requested her full name not be published.
She claims to have been working on a project in her flat when she glanced out of the window and saw the unusual sight, which she said looked like a ‘missile’.
In the video clip, Gabriella can be heard saying: ‘What is that?’
Speaking about how the object caught her attention was caught, Gabriella told MailOnline: ‘It was the combination of the two, the yellow orange pastel colour – but then this really strange massive object, to the southwest of Tooting.
‘There was a long string of smoke, like a weird cloud going upwards, and then I spotted an enormous dark grey thing… It was flying directly upwards, something I have never seen before. I mean, I’ve never seen airplanes going directly upwards like this. If you see airplanes you generally see them going across, not straight up.
‘The other thing is the great size. I saw around seven or eight airplanes in the sky at the same time, you often get planes in the sky around here, Heathrow and Gatwick are near.
‘Some of the planes were obviously closer to my window… but the airplanes were obviously smaller too. That means the weird object in the sky must have been enormous. Huge. It was so far away and the airplanes were minuscule in comparison.’
‘I reckon the whole thing lasted for about two minutes, I filmed it for about 20 seconds, took a photo, then about a minute and a half later it had disappeared, so it must have been moving fast.
‘No one else had seen it, as far as I can tell… but I have the video and the photo as proof: I wasn’t imagining it. I’d love to know what it was. It was quite unsettling.’
The Ministry of Defence has been contacted for comment.